May 25, 2021
We are gearing up for a very good event in just three short weeks! Sign up today and take advantage of our two pre-sessions that are on major discount!
Our Two Pre-Sessions:
1. Don’t miss Ken Brown, former Team Leader at Social Security Administration (SSA), and the former Director of Social Security Income Trust Policy, talk about recent SSA changes you need to know about.
2. An outstanding primer on how to plan for families with special needs under the SECURE ACT.


May 11, 2021

Were you as shocked at the Netflix film, I CARE A LOT, as we were? Some of the outrageous exaggerations were a lot to take in and honestly, pretty disturbing. 

The Michigan Law Center’s Attorney Michele P. Fuller, along with Probate Support Specialists‘, professional guardian, Charlene Distler, and retired LA County Probate Judge, the Hon. Mary Thorton-House, got together and had an in depth discussion about all things true or false in the film. Their combined experience of over 30 years in probate work and seeing cases like those in the movie, lead to a colorful analysis of the film and lets you know their professional opinion on the question: COULD IT HAPPEN TO YOU?


May 11, 2021
  1. Education from the Top Experts in their Fields: We have employed speakers from the organizations who handle special needs planning and administration every day. National Care Advisors, MIABLE, the CPT Institute and more are on the lineup. These individuals have seen first hand how these planning strategies work best when it comes to actually implementing them in your client’s lives. Their combined experience will give each session an in depth discussion on how to best use the available tools.
  2. CE Credits: Social Workers will have the chance for up to 8 CE Credits through the Michigan Social Worker CE Collaborative.
  3. Fully Virtual: Join from anywhere! We’ve invested in streaming platforms that will make your entire experience seamless and easy. Fun online games and giveaways will be going on throughout the event, when you attend live. You also get a swag box with snacks, and other items to make your day that much more interactive.
  4. Discounts: Register by May 15th (that’s THIS Saturday!) and receive early bird pricing with major savings on admission. Additional discounts may apply if you meet further qualifications. We’re also offering two on-demand pre-sessions as an add-on that makes the price point even sweeter.
  5. Your Clients: Attending this event will gain you the knowledge and experience you need to best service your clients with special needs. After all, this is why we do what we do: to give our clients the best service we can provide. Whether you’re just starting out in special needs planning, or you’ve been working in this field for years, everyone will get something out of this event to achieve that goal. We can’t wait to “see” you there!

Sign up today: www.greatlakessymposium.eventbrite.com


February 18, 2021

In its first three weeks in office, President Biden’s administration reversed a range of high-profile Trump Administration regulations that affected people with disabilities — rules covering Medicaid, disability reviews, immigration and housing discrimination.

Medicaid work rules: Since 2018, the Trump Administration had been pushing states to enact work requirements for certain Medicaid recipients to maintain benefits. In Arkansas, the only state that enacted these requirements, the program resulted in 18,000 people losing Medicaid coverage in three months before a court put the program on hold. This included many people with disabilities, despite being ostensibly exempt from the rules.

According to sources, the Biden Administration will withdraw the Trump Administration’s permissions to states to enact work requirements or invitations for states to apply for waivers to enact such requirements. It will also rescind existing waivers for Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Hampshire. Courts have uniformly ruled that the Medicaid Act prohibits these work mandates, although the question is now in front of the Supreme Court.

Disability reviews:  On January 28, 2021, the Social Security Administration (SSA) withdrew proposed regulations that would have subjected certain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to more frequent reviews to ensure people receiving benefits still have qualifying disabilities. The SSA currently requires these reviews on a seven-year, three-year, or six- to 18-month basis, depending on if the person is classified as “Medical Improvement Not Expected,” “Medical Improvement Possible,” or “Medical Improvement Expected.”

The proposed regulations would have created a new category, covering an estimated 4.4 million people, called “Medical Improvement Likely.” These recipients would have been subjected to reviews every two years, and the every-seven-year requirement for people in the “Medical Improvement Not Expected” category would have been shortened to six years. Disability advocates, who had characterized the proposed rules as a way to harass SSDI and SSI recipients, applauded the SSA’s withdrawal of the proposed changes.

Public Charge Rule: President Biden signed an executive order February 2 ordering a review of regulations finalized by the Trump Administration that would permit the federal government to deny people citizenship on the grounds that they may be a “public charge,” meaning they are likely to need government benefits. While existing laws already permit the government to deny people citizenship on this basis if they are likely to need SSI, the Trump Administration’s regulations expanded the “public charge” definition to encompass people who have received or may need SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid and other benefits that many people with disabilities rely on for help.

For many advocates, the rules harkened to a time when immigration laws systematically excluded people with disabilities. The rule was also credited with sparking a significant drop-off in non-citizens seeking medical care out of deportation fears.

Housing discrimination: On January 26, President Biden issued an executive order rescinding proposed Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations that would have made it significantly harder to prove discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The proposed regulations targeted claims where discrimination is proven not by showing the intent of a policy but by demonstrating the policy’s discriminatory effects, such as through statistical analysis and other evidence. The Trump Administration would have created a higher, “robust” standard for plaintiffs to make FHA claims, thus making it significantly harder to prove housing discrimination based on disability.

Disability discrimination claims have long been the most frequent type of claim brought under the FHA. They have traditionally been used to successfully challenging everything from bank lending practices, to landlords discriminating against people with housing subsidies, and zoning ordinances that limit the placement of group homes.

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